As we kick off 2017, we are dedicating this week to all things Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend because if you have never gone the distance in our Nation’s Capital this is your year. Need a little added motivation to kick start your training? Here the incredible members of #TeamAwesome give you need to get there for every distance from the Kids Marathon to 42.2K!
By Leanne Richardson
What Is Team Awesome?
Team Awesome is an online social media group of runners who are passionate about inspiring and encouraging others on their running journey towards Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. Our focus is to connect with runners in an effort to inspire them and help them achieve the goal or race distance they desire to complete.
How Did It Get Started?
Sometimes timing is everything! Organizers of the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, which includes the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, had been looking for ways to build the online community for runners committed to running in their flagship weekend event! They wanted a program that was as unique and special as the event itself was. I was in a place in my own running journey where I was looking to inspire others to set a goal, believe in themselves and work hard to accomplish that goal. Ottawa is my city and I wanted to support and promote this amazing running event, which I believe is the best in the country. I contacted the race office to inquire about an ambassador program. Susan Marsh, the Marketing Director, returned my call, we spoke for some time, shared some ideas and the rest they say is history J I was thrilled to receive an invitation to join Team Awesome when it launched in 2015.
Team Awesome has members representing every race distance, including the Kids Marathon. Our desire is to reach, not only runners who are training to get a personal best, or qualify for Boston, but also a walker who might be inspired to run their first 5K. We want to build a community where people are encouraged to believe that nothing is out of their reach, to demonstrate that if we can “do it” (whatever “it” is for them) then so can they!
Andre Mollema and I have had the privilege of being with Team Awesome since the beginning and co-lead the team by offering bilingual support. We continue to explore new ways of reaching the running community. Every year the group is comprised of inspirational and motivating individuals who are passionate about sharing their journey to race weekend! This year is no different, everyone in the group has a story that is unique and relate-able to someone else!
What I love about Team Awesome is how we are encouraged to be ourselves. To be authentic in our training and sharing about our training. Be who we are basically. For myself, my first love is the trails, not the road. However, trail running makes me an overall stronger runner, which helps me prepare for the marathon. So I can continue doing what I love, where I love and still be preparing for the race I love.
The goal for the team is to inspire runners and help them set a goal for race weekend, cheer them on during the training process and celebrate with them when they cross the finish line!